How Dodd-Frank Will Affect Big Oil

The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which energy editor/analyst Joel South and consumer goods editor/analyst Austin Smith discuss topics across the investing world.

Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street and Consumer Protection Act is a measure requiring oil, natural gas, and mineral companies to register with the SEC and report payments made to governments. The SEC has been slow to vote on the new rules, which could have serious competitive ramifications for big oil. Currently, the law will force companies to list the amount of money paid to governments in its annual report, giving competitors an opportunity to undercut bids. Also, with national oil companies representing over 70% of current reserves, foreign companies would likely find non-SEC-registered companies to form joint ventures to drill in these areas. This rule is extremely commendable, but in its current form could put SEC-registered companies at a disadvantage. Not every company is lobbying against changes of Section 1504; for example, Newmont Mining (NYS: NEM) is fully supporting this legislation.

Regulations and fiscal policy can have unintended consequences, and Section 1504 of Dodd-Frank definitely fits in this category. With more news from Europe and the potential of huge economic shocks on the verge of pushing the economy back down, now is a good time to check out three ETFs that are predisposed to making market-beating profits when markets recover from the downswing. Check out this link for a detailed analysis of these ETFs: "3 ETFs Set to Soar During the Recovery." The report is free today but won't be forever, so check out your copy today by clicking here. Enjoy, and Fool on!

At the time thisarticle was published Austin Smithhas no positions in the stocks mentioned above.Joel Southowns shares of ExxonMobil. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above.Motley Fool newsletter services recommendChevron and Total. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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